JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Michael T. Smith is a man with a plan. The pastor of The Church of Jacksonville took to the pulpit Sunday to talk about one of the most controversial topics around: hip-hop.
"It's no mystery that you can turn on the radio and hear people talking about gun violence, dealing drugs, trafficking cocaine," he said.
Smith wrote a letter to Clear Channel, asking for a "change in broadcast policy." He believes the songs often heard on 93.3FM aren't ones that uplift the community, and in fact, influence the disportionate number of blacks in prisons, on drugs and involved in homicides.
"You're a company that broadcasts black artists in a negative light and white artists not in that negative light. Don't tell me don't listen. Change your policy No. 1," he said.
In response, Clear Channel issued us the following statement:
"The Beat FM 93.3 is a popular station in Jacksonville that has a great relationship with the local community, playing music that our listeners want while abiding by all government regulations as a responsible broadcaster. We are a solid community partner, participating in many local charitable events including the MLK Parade, local school health fairs, feed the city with the Clara White Mission, MAD DADs pledge to help keep kids drug free, as well as national campaigns with the United Negro College Fund and the national mentoring Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Smith doesn't see it that way. He believes the more negative messages played, the more executives unfairly profit. He says he's not giving up any time soon.
"I'm not stopping until it's a different America," he said.
Smith says to be clear, he's not against hip-hop. In fact, he's been a fan of it for 25 years.